Dan (Jude Law) is walking down the street one day when he runs into Alice (Natalie Portman) who, while staring at Dan, is hit by a car. He helps her to the hospital, and then begins a romance with her, despite the fact that she looks like jailbait and there’s not a single hint of chemistry between them at all.
They’re in a relationship for a year, during which Dan, who is a “writer” without a single original thought in his head, cribs Alice’s life story (you can only do that once, dummy!) and gets a bestseller as a result. During a PR photoshoot for the book, Dan meets Anna (Julia Roberts) and makes a play for her, while admitting that he’s in a relationship with Alice. Anna blows him off, but you can see she’s charmed by him, which hey, when confronted by a lying philanderer who oozes disrespect for you, who wouldn’t be?
As payback for not hopping in the sack with him, Dan picks up nutjob Larry (Clive Owen) in an online chat and sends him in the direction of Anna, a particularly cruel and dangerous joke that no one ever takes him to task for. Larry just manages to conceal that he’s a sexual predator/sociopath while meeting Anna, and they hook up and marry. Because Anna’s into the whole disrespect/degradation thing, as we’ve already seen with Dan.
Eventually Dan and Anna hook up, and Larry tries to make it with Alice but can’t because he’s such a loser, and there’s much stormy confrontation and accusations about everyone’s behavior. And then there’s a weird non-ending that ties up no loose ends, brings about no revelations, and causes no growth or changes in anyone’s behavior. The End.
In case you can’t tell from my outline of the plot, I thought this movie was a steaming pile of… I’d say shit, but that seems too polite. I hated the fact that everyone in the movie was lying and cheating on everyone else, but they each expect the others to tell them the truth and be faithful. And when they didn’t get what they wanted, they had big screaming hissy fits about it.
I especially hate the fact that this movie is getting critical raves — it makes me a little afraid of my fellow man. Um, people are not allowed to act this way, folks, and if you know people who are like this, or if you yourself are like this, I’d like you far away from me, please. Come to think of it, I have some ex-partners who probably LOVED this movie.
I’m sorry, but there was nothing interesting on that screen to me at all. Sure, all the actors were beautiful at first glance, but five minutes into meeting each character made them uglier than dirt. I couldn’t even ignore the actors and stare at the sets, because they were all cold, sterile and hostile. No wonder these people are so unhappy; look at their apartments. The only remotely redeeming thing about this movie, is that in the scene where we meet Anna, she’s wearing some very cool corduroy mens trousers that look great on her. I actually pointed out that I wanted those pants.
Entertainment Weekly is predicting that this movie with get some Oscar consideration with possible nominations for Clive Owen and Natalie Portman for Supporting Actors, and perhaps “Best Adapted Screenplay.” The idea makes me want to vomit. But in I guess we live in George Bush’s America, so viscious, nilhistic behavior and self-righteousness are bound to be rewarded.
I’m giving this half a star for Julia Robert’s pants.